Keith Hunt - SAVED BY GRACE #2 Restitution of All Things


SAVED BY GRACE #2



                  ONE MAN DIES FOR ALL ?

     It may be asked at this juncture, "How can the death of just
ONE man forgive the sins of millions upon millions of human
beings?"
     What many do not realize is the fact that, the Jesus of the
New Testament was the God of the Old Testament. Jesus was the one
who made the physical universe - who made all the things that are
recorded in the first chapter of Genesis - the one who formed
man and breathed into him the breath of life. The Jesus of the
Gospels was the one who talked to Abraham, who wrestled with
Jacob, who called and delivered Israel out of Egypt.
This same Jesus who died on the cross is the one who wrote with
His finger the 10 commandments to Israel.
     Paul tells us that  God the Father, "Has in these last days
spoken unto us by His Son..... BY WHOM HE MADE THE WORLDS"
(Heb.1:2).  ALSO in Col.1:16 we read, "For by Him(the Son -
Christ - v.13-15) were ALL THINGS created, that are in heaven and
that are in earth, ALL THINGS Here created by HIM....." 
Jesus told the Jews that He had seen Abraham - they laughed at
Him( Jn.8: 56-57 ). He said to them, "Truly, I say unto you,
before Abraham was born I was the I AM spoken of in scripture"
(v.58 paraphrased). See EX.3:13-14.
     Christ existed before all things - He WAS and IS and is to
COME(Rev.1:8). He WAS WITH God and WAS God from the
beginning(Jn.1:1-2,14). He was the second person of the Godhead -
the LOGOS or WORD - the spokesman. Jesus Christ was that
spiritual ROCK that followed the Israelites(1 Cor.10:4).

     Because Jesus was the very God (in the main) we read about
in the Old Testament - the CREATOR of all life - His life is
worth more than all the human lives that have ever existed or
will exist.  That's why His ONE DEATH can forgive all the sins
ever committed by all mankind.


                DOES GRACE AND FAITH MAKE VOID
                           THE LAW ?

     Because no amount of good deeds or WORKS - no amount of
perfect law keeping can earn you God's grace or make up for past
sins - because our sins can only be blotted out by the blood of
Christ - as our justification from a guilty past is through the
death of Jesus - as it is our faith in His sacrifice that
cleanses us from sin - does this FAITH mean we do not have to
OBEY God or serve His holy law?
     Paul was the man God inspired to preach and write so much on
JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH, let's let him answer our question.
"Do we then make VOID the law through faith?  God FORBID!  No we
ESTABLISH the law" (Rom 3:31).

     Our man on death row for murder, who finds that the son of
the judge has died for him so he need not die, is thankful for
the GRACE and LOVE shown to him. He has FAITH in the sacrifice of
the son - he knows he is now justified. BUT he also knows he
cannot just go out and murder again - he knows the law is still
in force against such a crime. The law that says "you shall not
murder" has not been made void because he was justified freely by
GRACE through the redeeming power of the son.
     As Paul builds up his case for the teaching of justification
by faith, through the death of God's Son Jesus(Rom.4 and 5) and
not by any works that we can perform - a natural question would
arise: "What shall we say then, shall we CONTINUE IN SIN, that
GRACE may ABOUND?" Or as the PHILLIPS translation puts it, "Now
what is our response to be, shall we SIN to our HEART'S CONTENT
and see how far we can EXPLOIT the grace of God?" (Rom.6:1).
     "If God's grace is so free and wonderful," the question may
be put, "and sin can only be blotted out by undeserved
forgiveness, should we not go out and sin even more, so God can
bestow more and more grace upon us, and so His love and mercy can
be manifested even still more abundantly?"
     What is Paul's answer to such an idea as this? "GOD FORBID!"
or "WHAT A TERRIBLE THOUGHT" (Phillips Trans.). The FAITH we have
in being forgiven of sin - the GRACE shown to us through the
death of Jesus, does NOT give us the LICENSE or freedom to sin to
our hearts content.


                     THE SAVIOR'S PURPOSE

     At this point we should ask another question: "Did Jesus
come to save us IN our sins, while we continue to live IN sin, or
did He come to save us FROM sin and its penalty?"
     When the angel announced to Joseph that Mary would be the
one to bear the very Son of God, he said, "And she shall bring
forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus(which means
Savior) for He shall SAVE His people FROM their sins "
(Mat.1:21).
     Why was Christ manifested to the world - so the world could
be saved while continuing IN sin? NO! The Greek word "from" in
Mat.1:21 is APO and means "forth from, away from."
      NOTICE 1 JN. 3:5-10, "You know moreover, that Christ became
man to TAKE AWAY sin, and He Himself was free from sin. The man
who lives in Christ does not HABITUALLY sin. The REGULAR sinner
has never seen or known Him. You my children should not let
anyone deceive you. The man who lives a good life is a good man,
as surely as Christ is good. But a man whose life is HABITUALLY
sinful is spiritually a son of the devil, for the devil has been
a sinner from the beginning. Now the Son of God came to the earth
with the express purpose of undoing the devil's work. The man who
is really God's son does not PRACTICE sin, for God's nature is in
him, for good, and such a heredity is incapable of sin. Here we
have a clear indication as to who are the children of God and who
are the children of the devil" (Phillips translation).
      A true child of God - one who has been saved from sin - who
has been JUSTIFIED by GRACE through FAITH - does not CONTINUE IN
sin. He does not PRACTICE as an HABITUAL way of life, the works
of the devil  -  sin.
     
     The death of Jesus for the remission of sins, was also our
death - He died in our stead - it was as if we had died. The
Christian doctrine of BAPTISM pictures our death and resurrection
in Christ Jesus.
     Paul, writing about NOT LIVING IN SIN a moment longer, now
that GRACE has been shown to us, said, "that all of us who were
baptized into Jesus Christ were, by that very action, sharing in
His death.  If we have, as it were, shared in His death, we shall
also share in His resurrection......And if we were dead men with
Christ we can believe that we shall also be men alive with Him.
He died  because of sin(the breaking of the law) once, He lives
for God forever. IN THE SAME WAY look upon yourselves(converted
justified Christians) as dead to the APPEAL  and  POWER of sin
but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Do not then(today
as baptized forgiven children of God) allow SIN to establish any
power over your mortal bodies in making you give way to its
lusts, but like men rescued from certain death, put yourselves in
God's hands as weapons of good for His own purpose. For  SIN CAN
NEVER(now ,today, or tomorrow) be your master - you are no longer
living under the law, but under grace" (Rom.6:3-14 Phillips -
amplification mine).
     Jesus came to save us FROM sin - from its penalty - death,
and from its POWER over us. As we have been given a new lease on
life by His sacrifice in our stead, and as He lives for God -
doing His will, forever - so we too must be instruments in God's
hands for His purpose and will, not the devil's. We are not to
let SIN - the breaking of God's law - be our normal practice. Sin
is not to have power and control over us.


                     NOT UNDER THE LAW ?

     Some have taken verse 14 of Romans chapter 6 to say you are
no longer under OBLIGATION TO OBEY the law of God. But if that
was true then we could break the law at our hearts content, for
sin as we have seen, is the breaking of God's law. If we can sin
as a way of life because we are no longer under obligation to
keep the law, then why did Paul spend so much time before verse
14 in telling the Romans not to let sin(disobedience to the law)
rule their lives. Is Paul CONTRADICTING himself in verse 14? Of
course not!! Ye are now through JUSTIFICATION by GRACE no longer
under the CONDEMNATION of the law - no longer does the law
CONDEMN us to death for violating it. We have been made free from
its penalty by GRACE - undeserved pardon and we are not under the
law as a means of EARNING our justification - trying to perform
good works in order to claim God must justify us from sin.
     All the well know Bible Commentaries have so understood
verse 14. See such Commentators as: MATTHEW HENRY, ADAM CLARK,
ALBERT BARNES, and more modern works like the WYCLIFFE and
ABINGDON Bible Commentaries. 



             GRACE DOES NOT GIVE US LICENSE T0 SIN

     Again I quote from the Phillips translation of Romans 6:15,
"Now what shall we do? Shall we go on sinning because we have no
law to CONDEMN us any more but are living under grace? NEVER!" 
Paul, clearly and plainly did NOT believe that the grace of God
gave us permission to willfully go on PRACTICING sin. Notice what
he said in verses 16-22., from the Phillips with my inserts,
"Just think what it would mean. You(saved Christians)
belong(now,today) to the power which you choose to obey, whether
you choose SIN, whose reward is(still is) DEATH, or God,
obedience to whom means the reward of righteousness(eternal
life)."  Do you see ?  If we saved Christians return again to the
life of habitual sin, we would AGAIN come under the condemnation
of the law - DEATH.
     Let's continue, "Thank God that you, who were at one time
the servants of sin, honestly responded to the impact of Christ's
teaching when you came under its influence. Then released from
the service of sin(being forgiven by Christ's death) you entered
the service of RIGHTEOUSNESS(you repented and said you would walk
in God's commandments - Ps.119:172).  For when you were employed
by sin you owed no duty to righteousness. But now that you are
freed from sin and employed by God, you owe no duty to sin, and
you reap(now,today) the fruit of being made righteous, while at
the END OF THE ROAD is life for evermore."
     
     Being justified by GRACE puts us on the road - the beginning
of the road, of salvation. We are in a SAVED condition yes, but
we have not INHERITED eternal life - we are HEIRS of God, not yet
inheritors(Rom.8:17). At the end of the road is eternal life.
We must walk that road all our lives until our death or Christ's
return, whichever comes first. If we deliberately, willfully -
with clear INTENT, turn from serving God, we come again under
condemnation and the death sentence of sin.
     
     Salvation is a PROCESS! There is no such doctrine taught in
the work of God as "once saved always saved". That doctrine is
FALSE - it is a lie - it has deceived tens of thousands into a
false salvation!
     LISTEN! Will you believe what the word of God plainly says?
"For if we SIN WILLFULLY after we have received the knowledge of
the truth, there remains NO MORE SACRIFICE FOR SINS. But a
certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation,
which shall devour the adversaries" ( Heb. 10: 26, 27 ) .
     Jesus our Savior said, "But he that shall ENDURE TO THE END,
the same shall be saved" (Mat.24:13). Again He said, "....He that
OVERCOMES shall not be hurt of the second death. He that
OVERCOMES, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and
I will NOT BLOT HIS NAME OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE:...." (Rev.2:11;
3:5). So it is possible for a Christian to have his name blotted
out of the book of life. If he does not endure and overcome to
the end he will not be saved.
     The apostle James wrote, "BRETHREN, if any of YOU do ERR
from the TRUTH and one CONVERT him; Let him know, that he which
converts the SINNER from the error of his way shall save a soul
from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins" (James 5:19,20).
     
     It is possible for a Christian to FALL AWAY from the TRUTH
for a time, and be helped back again to conversion by another
Christian?
     Did the apostle Paul, a man who had experienced the great
MERCY of God, who had been justified - who was in a saved
condition, believe that it was now IMPOSSIBLE for him to "fall
away"? He wrote these words, "Not that I have become perfect yet:
I have NOT YET WON, but I am STILL RUNNING, trying to capture the
prize for which Christ Jesus captured me. I can assure you my
brothers, I am FAR FROM THINKING I have already WON. All I can
say is that I forget the past and I strain ahead for what is
still to come; I am racing for the FINISH, for the prize to which
God calls us upward to receive in Christ Jesus" (Phil.3:12-14,
Jerusalem Bible). 
      Paul knew that he had eternal life in him, because Christ
was in him through the Spirit(1 Jn.5:11-13), but he also knew he
was not yet an INHERITOR of eternal life - that prize was still
ahead of him. So what must he do until he inherited it? Be
careful - and as he said to the Philippians, "....work out your
own salvation with FEAR and TREMBLING" (chap.2:12). Do not get
into a laxidazical attitude in your Christian life. We  must
constantly be putting on the whole armor of God to withstand the
darts of the devil, for he's always going about to see who he can
devour (Eph.6:10-18; 1 Pet.5:8).

     Did Paul believe it was possible for him to FALL WAY from
the grace of God?
"....But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection(he
was enduring and overcoming): lest that by any means, WHEN I HAVE
PREACH TO OTHERS I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CAST AWAY" (1 Cor.9: 24-27,
KJV).
     Paul did not believe in or teach any such idea as "once
saved always saved." The GRACE of God gives no one a license to
practice sin. If once we have REPENTED and been JUSTIFIED we
again turn back to be the servants of sin, we shall reap the  -
what we CAN EARN - death!  "Sin PAYS its servants - the wage is
death. But God GIVES to those who serve Him: His FREE gift is
eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom.6:23 Phillips
trans.). 


           A CHRISTIANS ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE LAW OF GOD

     What should be the attitude of a person who has come under
the GRACE of God, towards the law of the Lord? We may well ask -
what was Paul's attitude? What was John's attitude? What Has
Peter's? What was James'? What was Jesus' attitude towards the
law of God? Did they think it something terrible - a bondage -
something to SHUN?
After Paul had been justified he wrote, "Wherefore the Law is
HOLY, and the commandment HOLY, and JUST, and GOOD..... I DELIGHT
in the law of God after the inward man" (Rom.7:12,14).
      After James had come under the grace of God, he wrote
concerning the law, "But whoever looks into the PERFECT LAW OF
LIBERTY, and continues in it, he being not a forgetful hearer,
but a DOER of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deeds''
(James 1:25). 
     John clearly tells us how we can KNOW that we KNOW the Lord,
"And HEREBY do we KNOW that we KNOW Him, IF we keep His
COMMANDMENTS. He that says, I know him, and keeps not His
commandments is a LIAR, and the TRUTH is not in him "
(1 Jn.2:3,4).
      Peter, after his conversion, speaking about Christ and sin,
wrote, "For even hereunto were you called; because Christ also
suffered for us, leaving us an EXAMPLE, that you should follow
His steps. WHO DID NO SIN" (1 Pet.2:21). Peter said Jesus never
sinned - never broke the law of God - and that was an example for
us to follow. WE are to have the attitude after being forgiven -
shown grace - of not wanting to sin again.
     
     The longest of all the Psalms - PS.119 - over and over again
extols the wonder and greatness of God's LAW - COMMANDMENTS -
STATUTES - PRECEPTS - and JUDGMENTS. Here is some of what is
written:  "Open you my eyes that I may behold wonderous things
out of your law.... I will delight myself in your commandments,
which I have loved.... O  how love I your law, it is my
meditation  all the day.... Rivers of water run down my eyes,
because they keep not your law..... I have longed for your
salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight"
(Ps.119:18,47,97,136,174).

     Jesus said,  "If any man love me, he will keep my words....
he that loves me not, keeps not my sayings: and the word which
you hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me"
(Jn.14:23,24). 
What was one of the sayings - words - of Jesus that came from
the Father?  "but if you will ENTER(inherit) into life, KEEP THE
COMMANDMENTS" (Mat.19:17).  A Christian - a person under the
grace of God - will LOVE the law of God and will, with his mind
and inward attitude DELIGHT in it and want to serve it. For in
this way we love God, for,  "this is the love of God, that we
KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: and His commandments are not grievous" (1
Jn.5:3). 


             WILL GRACE BE GIVEN TO JUST ANYONE ?

     Some say GRACE and LAW do not mix - cannot go together. Oh,
really! Now it is only possible to show MERCY or GRACE to someone
when a law has been broken and a penalty incurred. Will God
shower down His mercy upon just anyone, no matter what kind of
rotten, filthy, rebellious attitude they are in? Does God have
the right to lay down certain CONDITIONS to receiving His grace?
If so, what are those conditions?
     The very answer to those questions above, is given in the
very commandments of God that so many seem to hate and preach
against today. Speaking about not making  images to worship, God
says,  "for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and
forth generation of them that hate me. And  showing MERCY(grace -
forgiveness of sins) unto," NOTICE IT, "unto thousands of them
that LOVE me,"  we have seen already what loving God entails, 
"and KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS" (EX. 20:5,6).
     God does have the right to lay down CONDITIONS for receiving
His GRACE or MERCY. The condition is to love Him and be willing
to KEEP His law.

     Peter in Acts 3:19 put it this way, "REPENT you therefore
and be CONVERTED that your sins may be blotted out."  God will
grant you GRACE - forgiveness - justification - only upon
REPENTANCE - upon your willingness to change your way of serving
sin to the way of serving righteousness - His COMMANDMENTS (see
Isa. 55:6-9 and Ps.119:172).
     NOTICE PS.103:17-18,  "But the MERCY(grace) of God is from
everlasting to everlasting upon,"  who, upon just anyone?   "upon
them that FEAR Him...." (read Isa.66:2 for an amplification of
Godly fear,   "to such as KEEP HIS COVENANT," (read about the new
covenant WE must enter into with God in Heb.10:1-17)  "and to
those that REMEMBER His COMMANDMENTS to DO them."

     As we have already shown and proved, the keeping of the
commandments - the law - cannot EARN you forgiveness - the grace
or God. That is God's free GIFT, something He gives to you, that
you do not deserve. You deserve only to die. But God will have
mercy upon you IF you meet certain CONDITIONS.  In PS. 103 those
conditions are listed as:
1) A Godly fear.  2) A willingness to enter His covenant.  3) To
remember His law to keep it.
     Now, understanding that God does lay down conditions for His
grace and what those conditions are, shows us WHY Paul wrote,
"For not the HEARERS of the law (those only that hear but will
not perform) are JUST(forgiven) before God, but the DOERS of the
law (those who have repented of sin and are willing to serve the
law of God) SHALL BE JUSTIFIED" (Rom.2;13).
     Performing the law does not justify you, but only those who
are willing to keep it, will be justified or forgiven by God.
     Coming to have the attitude - purpose of mind - that you are
willing to obey the law is a CONDITION to receiving GRACE through
FAITH. That is why James wrote:

"What is the use (profit), my brethren, for anyone to profess to
have faith if he has not (good)works (to show for it)?
Can(such)faith save(his soul)? If a brother or sister is poorly
clad and lacks food for each day, and one of you says to him,
Goodbye! Keep(yourself) warm and well fed, without giving him the
necessities for the body, what good does that do? So also faith
if it does not have works(deeds and actions of obedience to back
it up), by its self is destitute of power - inoperative, dead.
But someone will say (to you then), You(say you) have faith and I
have (good) works. Now you show me your (alleged) faith apart
from any (good) works (if you can), and I by (good) works (of
obedience) will show you my faith. You believe that God is one,
you do well. So do the demons believe, and shudder (in terror and
horror such as makes a man's hair stand on end and contract the
surface of his skin)! Are you willing to be shown (proof), you
foolish, unproductive,  spiritually-deficient fellow, that faith,
apart from (good) works is inactive and ineffective and
worthless? Was; not our forefather Abraham (shown to be)
justified - made acceptable to God - by (his) works when he
brought to the altar as an Offering his (own) son Isaac?
(Gen.22:1-14). You see that (his) faith was co-operating with his
works, and this faith was complete, and reached its supreme
expression (when he implemented it) by (good) works. And so the
Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed - adhered
to, trusted in and relied on - God, and this was accounted to him
as righteousness (as conformity to God's will in thought and
deed), and he was called God's friend. (Gen.15:6; Isa.41:8; 2
Chron.20:7).
You see that a man is justified (pronounced righteous before God)
through what he does and not alone through faith - through works
of obedience as well as by what he believes. 
For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith
apart from (its) works of obedience is also dead" (James 2:14-26,
The Amplified Bible). 

     The MURDERER who is shown MERCY - grace - on condition that
he does not murder again, can be pardoned from his crime if he
accepts that condition and is willing to live in compliance with
the law.
     
     So likewise - God will be gracious to us on CONDITION that
we no longer practice as a way of life - sin (the breaking of
God's law).

     Now do you see why Jesus said to the rich young man, 
"....IF you will enter(inherit) into life KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS."
     God will only show GRACE (by which you are saved) to those
who REMEMBER His COMMANDMENTS to DO them (Ps.103:17-18).


To be continued(written 1984)         



 
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